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American League Roundup : Henderson Trade Looking Good--for the A’s

Dave Kingman hit his 13th home run and the Oakland A’s reaped another dividend in the Rickey Henderson trade in a 2-0 victory over the Yankees Tuesday night at New York.

Kingman’s 420-foot blast into the bleachers in right-center at Yankee Stadium in the fourth inning was the only run rookie Ralph Birtsas needed to pick up his second victory.

Birtsas, one of the players obtained from the Yankees in the Henderson trade, held the Yankees to three hits in six innings. Keith Atherton pitched two scoreless innings, then Jay Howell, also obtained in the Henderson deal, pitched the ninth to earn his 12th save.

Howell retired Henderson on a fly for the final out of the game with the bases loaded.

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It was the third impressive start for Birtsas, a 6-7 left-hander. He gave up a double to Don Baylor in the second, and singles to Henderson in the third and Willie Randolph in the fifth.

“It was a real thrill for me,” Birtsas said. “I want to do well against every club but more against the Yankees than anyone.

“When I heard about the trade I was disappointed because I felt I could make the Yankee pitching staff. At the same time I realized I would get a chance to pitch regularly for Oakland. What it boils down to is Mr. (George) Steinbrenner wanted Rickey Henderson, and he was going to get him no matter what it cost.”

Toronto 9, Minnesota 2--Willie Upshaw hit a two-run homer to give the Blue Jays the lead at Toronto, and Jim Clancy held the slumping Twins to four hits in eight innings to win his second.

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The Blue Jays have won 11 of their last 13, while the Twins have lost 10 of their last 11.

The Blue Jays broke it open in the eighth when George Bell hit a three-run home run and Buck Martinez hit a solo smash.

Texas 7, Chicago 3--The weather has warmed up in Texas, and Charlie Hough couldn’t be happier. For the last two years the former Dodger knuckleballer has been the American League player of the month of June.

He’s on the right track this season. In his first June outing, Hough outpitched Tom Seaver to improve his record to 5-4.

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A two-out error by third baseman Tim Hulett paved the way for four unearned runs in the first inning off Seaver, and the way Hough was pitching, Seaver had no chance to win No. 294.

Boston 5, Cleveland 0--The Red Sox experiment of making a relief pitcher of Bobby Ojeda may have ended.

In his second start since being recalled from the bullpen, Ojeda held the Indians to six hits in seven innings. After he made 94 pitches, Ojeda gave way to Steve Crawford.

Dwight Evans, back in the lineup after taking two days off because of a 2-for-19 slump, led off the third inning with his fifth home run. It sent the Indians to their 11th defeat in the last 13 games.

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Seattle 7, Detroit 6--Bullpen ace Willie Hernandez pitched four perfect innings at Detroit, but with one out in the 12th, Phil Bradley jumped on a 1-0 pitch and hammered it into the upper deck in left for his ninth home run.

Kirk Gibson hit his ninth, a towering drive that hit the roof down the right-field line in the seventh to tie the score at 6-6.

The second one-run loss in a row to the Mariners dropped the slumping Tigers 5 1/2 games behind Toronto in the East.

The Tigers, hard-pressed for starters, opened with relief pitcher Doug Bair, and the Mariners rocked him for six runs in four plus innings.

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Kansas City 4, Milwaukee 3--Willie Wilson and George Brett each drove in two runs at Kansas City to give Charlie Leibrandt the runs he needed for his sixth victory.

Leibrandt gave up all three runs in 5 innings, but Mike LaCoss stopped the Brewers the rest of the way to earn his first save. LaCoss struck out four.

Brett’s triple that drove in the winning run was his seventh game-winning hit.


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